Basic Language Program

Basic Language Program

Heather McCoy, Ph.D.
Director of the Basic Language Program
336N Burrowes Building

Who We Are

Our courses are taught by expert instructors from a variety of countries such as the United States, France, Cameroon, Lebanon, Canada, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia and other Francophone countries. We are dedicated language teachers who are committed to exposing our students to the French language and culture. We strive to make our classes meaningful, interesting and productive.

Our Courses

French 1, 2 & 3 is the three-semester sequence that comprises the Basic Language Program at Penn State. Students who successfully complete French 3 or its equivalent will satisfy the 12-credit language requirement for most majors.

Students may also satisfy the language requirement by successfully completing the intensive two-semester French 111 (6 cr.) – French 112 (6 cr.) sequence. Students who have completed French 3 or its equivalent are eligible to take French 201 and/or French 202. Please note that French 201: Oral Communication and Reading Comprehension and French 202: Grammar and Composition or their equivalents are pre-requisites for all 300- and 400-level French courses in the department.

Our Approach

Our curriculum is based on the communicative approach. We place interaction, meaningful language use and a focus on the ability to express oneself in French at the heart of our program. Our belief is that the classroom experience should be engaging, challenging and stimulating. Our courses address the four skills as they focus upon listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students can expect to learn about linguistic features of the French language, have the opportunity to use French daily in class, and deepen their understanding of French culture as well as the various cultures of countries where French is spoken.

Our Goals

  • Provide students with the linguistic tools and cultural knowledge that will permit them to interact with French-speakers in a variety of contexts
  • Increase awareness of French and Francophone culture among students at Penn State
  • Provide students with a unique perspective from which to view their own culture
  • Promote study abroad and other international experiences for students at Penn State
  • Expose students to the art, literature and music of France and the Francophone world
  • Provide students with the knowledge necessary to pursue the study of French at Penn State and beyond

For more reasons to study a foreign language during your time at Penn State, read Language Study in the Age of Globalization: The College-Level Experience.